Obama to the rescue? David Seymour invites Barack Obama to visit charter schools

David Seymour and Barack Obama.
David Seymour and Barack Obama. Photo credit: Getty

ACT leader David Seymour has written to former US President Barack Obama in his quest to save charter schools from being scrapped by the Government. 

Newshub has obtained the letter, which was sent on Tuesday and invites President Obama to visit a charter school during his rumoured visit in the next couple of weeks. 

"It would be a privilege if we were able to host you at a charter school during your visit to New Zealand next month, to show you the students they serve, and the results they have been able to achieve," writes Mr Seymour. 

President Obama was a driving force behind the expansion of the charter school model in the United States, calling them "incubators of innovation", and even having one named in his honour. 

David Seymour's letter to Barack Obama.
David Seymour's letter to Barack Obama. Photo credit: Newshub.

Mr Seymour says that makes the former president the perfect advocate to help convince the Government not to axe the charter school model. 

"Charter schools were a key priority for your administration," he says in the letter. "We share a belief that education can have a transformational impact on the lives of young people."

President Obama's visit is reportedly part of a promotion for Air New Zealand, whose chair is former Prime Minister Sir John Key, who struck up a friendship with Obama during their simultaneous time in office. Obama's appearance fee is rumoured to be $400,000.

Mr Key is name-dropped by Mr Seymour in the letter.

"As a member of the John Key administration, I was responsible for New Zealand's charter school policy," he writes. 

"It is regrettable that our new Government plans to end the fledgling charter schools programme, and with it the educational opportunities afforded to disadvantaged children, simply because it has not found favour with influential teachers' unions," says Mr Seymour. 

President Obama is yet to respond to the letter.